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Key Fundamentals To Driving The Best Talent Attraction – Podcast | S1:E3

Talent Attraction in today’s candidate-driven environment continues to challenge organizations. In this episode we’ll discuss the several elements of the talent attraction process, which includes how to manage internal versus external candidates, candidate market research and how to active your networks to attract the best talent.

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Podcast Transcription – S1:E3


Speaker_1: 00:03 Get ready for your weekly dose of talent strategies and tactics from industry leaders to help you attract, select and retain your top talent. You are listening to Versique’s Inside Executive Search with Steve Yakesh and Scott Peterson.
Speaker_2: 00:29 Hello and welcome to the Inside Executive Search podcast. My name is Steve Yakesh and this show is for business owners, board members and executives exploring strategies and tactics to attract, select and retain top executive talent. If you’re not feeling 100% confident that you have a plan to recruit the very best for your key roles, this podcast will help you get there. So last week we covered executive compensation in the five key elements of executive compensation. Today’s episode though is focused on a few more elements on talent attraction, which is vetting out internal versus external candidates, how to do market research to isolate external candidates and how to activate your network. That said, I would like to bring in Scott Peterson from Versique Search.
Speaker_3: 01:18 Hello again this week. Steve, good to be back.
Speaker_2: 01:20 Good to see you and hear you. So for our first time listeners, Scott’s a 20 year veteran in the Executive Search industry and leads Versique’s Executive Leadership Practice. So as I mentioned, Scott, today we’re going to be discussing three main topics included in talent attraction, internal versus external candidates, market research and activating your network, but we’ll tackle them one at a time. Sounds great. All right, so let’s go internal versus external candidates first. So, if I’m a CEO, business owner, board of directors I generally need to look internal first. Hopefully I’ve done some succession planning. If I haven’t done formal succession planning, what advice do you have to look internal?
Speaker_3: 02:08 It’s unlike your process looking at external. If you don’t have a formalized succession plan and identified individuals internally that are already set up to take the next position. An example of that, just what happened at Best Buy. The CEO just announced their retirement and will just be the board chairman and the CFO was promoted into the CEO spot. That was already predetermined months ago maybe even years ago. Companies need to really apply the same process that they would looking for external candidates. Really put a time and effort into as we talked about in our previous episodes. What is the position description, what is the profile? All those things need to still happen. The compensation package, all those things need to happen and put each one of the candidates that you have internal through that same process all at the same time so they all feel like they’ve got a fair opportunity at the job.
Speaker_2: 03:06 Okay, so I’m a big proponent of looking internal and promoting from within if I have the right person, but if I’m not a hundred percent confident that one of my internal employees can elevate into this top executive role, and I want to look at external candidates as well, which I would be a huge proponent of, to make sure you’re making the very best decision for your business. How do you, how do you balance interviewing and evaluating external and internal at the same time?
Speaker_3: 03:37 Yeah. Well, we’ve seen work best whether you’re doing this with your internal team or you’re using a partner firm, but let’s talk about the internal team first. You really should treat all the candidates internal and external in the same process at the same time. It allows you to then compare and contrast all the viable candidates for this position based upon their experiences in their interview, what they bring to the table. Obviously internal candidates have a sort of an inside track because they know the culture already, so they’re not worried about that piece, but it allows the company then to really compare and contrast if that internal candidate is right for the promotion or as the external candidates still the right move given the interview process.
Speaker_2: 04:23 Sure. So if you are going to look at external candidates in compliment with your internal, guidance on timing, you don’t want your internals going through the interview process and pausing for four weeks while you do your external recruiting. When do you get them into process?
Speaker_3: 04:43 You really want to align it during a similar timeframe as the external candidates. Really put them through the exact same process, the same people will interview them. They shouldn’t, cut corners just with the internal candidates. They should and must go through that same vetting process that they would go as the external candidates as well.
Speaker_2: 05:03 Absolutely. And I know we were talking earlier, which I agree with as well, if the internal candidate doesn’t get the role and an external candidate does, it increases retention, correct? That they went through a formal process and they just weren’t the best for the role.
Speaker_3: 05:20 Yeah. Surprisingly enough, this can be a more positive outcome than a negative outcome. On the surface that person doesn’t get it or they going to leave the company because they didn’t get the promotion. Really, because they had the opportunity to present their best case for the promotion and they were put through the fair process with everybody else. They actually feel better about not getting the job than they would have if they weren’t even part of the process in the first place. It also brings up areas where they might need to have improvement in their experience or what do they need to be better at. Some of that just takes time experience and sometimes there’s things they can do outside of the company, some leadership training, etc. So, you actually benefit two ways from that. You get a great candidate through the process, but you also gain a candidate internally that that is still a great person for the company still adds a lot of value and understands what they need to do to get
Speaker_2: 06:16 Absolutely. Perfect. All right, well let’s move on to market research and as we’re defining it today is a company has decided to go and evaluate external candidates. The best candidates as we know, just aren’t applying to all these jobs, especially in the top roles, so you have to go and find them and just, who are they? So how does a company go and do market research to start isolating candidates to potentially start courting?
Speaker_3: 06:43 Right, and you’ll see most companies on their leadership position, they don’t advertise, because they don’t want to be inundated by hundreds and hundreds of resumes of basically unqualified or potentially qualified candidates, so you can, you can manage the process better by being more targeted. So, this market research is where you can do that. Making sure you know who your competitors are, what are companies that are complementary to your company that would be great people from outside or if you’re going to go outside the industry, what are you looking for? The intangibles, the experiences that they have background and then what you do is isolate those people at those companies and frankly just go get them. Reach out and court them. This part of what’s your compelling story. We talked about that a few episodes ago. You need to have that compelling email or InMail from Linkedin that grabs their attention and you can do that by having done a good job in that compelling story in the fir
Speaker_2: 07:48 Perfect and then the last piece we’re going to talk about is activating your network and this is really geared towards the executives, board members to compliment that targeted recruiting that you just spoke of. What guidance, recommendations do you have for board members, key executives within the firm on how to activate their network to try to drum up some qualified candidates as well?
Speaker_3: 08:13 This is becoming a very important piece. Most board members and executives will naturally reach out to those that they know around them, their colleagues, their peers, and tell them, here’s what I’m looking for and so activating your network is a multistage process, right? As your current network of your colleagues and your peers that you might be connected with and whether it’s email, but it’s also a broader network based on maybe your Linkedin and I don’t know about you Steve, but I’ve got a thousand or 2000 Linkedin connections that I don’t talk to every day but when I have a need or I’m looking for help on something, I’ll up a post on LinkedIn and solicit my whole network and that really does drive some traffic to you in terms of here’s a potential candidate or two to talk to.
Speaker_2: 09:06 Absolutely. And if you are going to activate your network, just make sure that once you’re at your network is activated, who internally are you going to funnel those potential candidates too, right? Yeah, absolutely.
Speaker_3: 09:19 Part of activating your network could be using outside firms as well, right? So, make sure you get those outside firms involved that you know and trust and have used in the past to help you activate them as well because they can be a critical part to your process as well.
Speaker_2: 09:38 Awesome. Well that’s a great segue, actually, Scott to next week’s episode. So preview of next week we’re going to discuss on selecting the right executive search firm. If you do want to solicit that help from an external partner, and I’m sure there’ll be a little bit of a selfish plug for about Versique’s practice. Yeah, just a little one. But we’re not the best firm for everything and there’s a lot of things that go into selecting the right firm for your role. So that’s what’s on tap for next week. That being said we’ll wrap this one up and as always, if you want to get ahold of Scott, reached out to him on LinkedIn or visit Again, we are live on iTunes and Spotify. So if you like what you’re hearing, please go out and subscribe to our channel and you get your seven, ten, twelve minute dose of Inside Executive Search every week, right? Free Advice. Free advice there you. From the one and only Scott Peterson. So, thanks everybody for listening and we will see you next w

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